In response to the FCC’s ongoing solicitation for feedback on how to preserve an open Internet, 45 leading civil rights organizations came together to file Reply Comments in the Open Internet proceeding. In the debate over how the FCC should regulate the Internet, the National Minority Organizations respond that open Internet rules, crafted under the Commission’s Section 706 authority in combination with a consumer-focused enforcement scheme modeled after Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, is the best way to protect an open Internet while advancing necessary initiatives to close the digital divide.
This coalition of many of the most distinguished and respected national civil rights and minority-serving organizations that represent millions of constituents assert the need for smart public policy that is focused on promoting broadband adoption among vulnerable populations and facilitating a level of regulatory certainty that has cultivated today’s thriving and expanding Internet ecosystem. [click to continue…]
Last night, the Walter Kaitz Foundation held its 31st Annual Kaitz Dinner, a fundraiser that raised over $1.4 million from sponsors, attendees, and supporters, and attracted a star-studded array of guests from the media and telecom industries. Among the guests were BET Networks Chairman and President Debra Lee, NuvoTV comedian Erik Rivera, and all-star performers from Fox’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance, including an appearance by host Cat Deeley. The highlight of the night, though, was the Foundation’s presentation of its annual awards: The 2014 Diversity Advocate Award was presented to Federal Communications Commissioner and former Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, and the 2014 Diversity Champion Award was presented to BET Networks.
Fighting Negative Stereotypes by Celebrating Our Voices
In the ongoing tide of media promoting a steady stream of negative images of minority men and women – from demonizing immigrants to painting slain, unarmed, black 19-year-old Michael Brown as a violent thug – it is vital that we fight back by promoting the positive images and successes that are rampant within our communities, but often invisible in the mainstream media. Awards ceremonies like the Kaitz Foundation’s Annual Dinner help to not only recognize and reward the achievements of those from diverse communities, but also to counterbalance the negative perceptions that plague many minority groups in this nation. [click to continue…]
As excitement builds around the release of Apple’s new Apple Watch, it is clear an increasing amount of advanced, wearable technology is available to those who have the disposable income and an understanding of the opportunities that these devices and applications will enable. Emerging wearable technologies, such as Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, are handy gadgets for the always-connected. Wearables are the next step in seamless access to Web-enabled applications.
But for those not connected to the Internet, the question remains: What impact will these devices have on the digital divide? [click to continue…]
On September 16, MMTC filed the following letter with the Federal Communications Commission, urging its leaders to assign its Advisory Committee for Diversity in the Digital Age to research the causes of the stark employment gaps within the technology sector.
Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners:
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) respectfully requests that the Commission assign its Advisory Committee for Diversity in the Digital Age (Diversity Committee) the task of researching the causes of troubling employment patterns and practices in the technology sector. This task fits right into the jurisdiction of the Committee, whose most recent Charter provides that it shall “provide recommendations to the FCC regarding policies and practices that will further enhance diverse participation in the telecommunications and related [emphasis added] industries.“ [click to continue…]
Washington, D.C. (September 11, 2014): Bayou City Broadcasting Evansville Inc. recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group to purchase CBS affiliate WEVV in Evansville, IN, for $18.6 million. The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council lauds this transaction as a definitive step toward increasing diversity in broadcast ownership across the nation.
Minority broadcast ownership has plummeted since Congress repealed the Federal Communications Commission’s Tax Certificate Policy in 1995. During the 17-year lifetime of the policy, which was designed to provide tax incentives to increase diversity in broadcast ownership, the Commission granted 356 tax certificates – 287 for radio, 40 for television, and 30 for cable franchises. This policy was the most effective measure in increasing broadcast diversity, as the FCC has been mandated by Congress to do, but minority ownership has fallen to statistically zero since the policy’s repeal. Bayou City’s purchase is the first completely independent acquisition by an African-American broadcaster in years, and a noteworthy achievement. [click to continue…]
Today, most schools and libraries lack the bandwidth to keep pace with modern technology. If we want students to lead the world in educational achievement, we must not allow a significant number of schools and students to miss out on the benefits education technology has to offer. Otherwise, we sentence them to a lifetime of inequality and second class citizenship.
Jim Shelton, U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary, spoke to this issue as he delivered keynote remarks during the FCC Commissioners’ Breakfast at MMTC’s 12th Annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference. He lauded the FCC Commissioners for taking action to modernize the FCC’s E-rate program, a program designed to connect underserved schools to the 21st Century education technology. In his remarks, Shelton highlighted the changing landscape of our high-tech global economy, suggesting that access to high-speed broadband and adequate capacity for all students is an absolute necessity. [click to continue…]
Last June, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) posted, and The Huffington Post re-posted, a false and misleading story that has recently been quoted in numerous other media outlets as truth. A number of recent posts on the FCC’s open Internet debate link to this wholly untrue article, requiring us to set the record straight rather than leave these false statements unanswered on the record.
Why CPI’s Story Is False
On most communications policy issues, MMTC usually concurs with the primarily non-minority public interest advocacy groups – but not always. CPI’s storyline was fed to it by other advocacy groups in an attempt to discredit MMTC for disagreeing with them on three issues that are aligned with our mission. [click to continue…]
MMTC is pleased to support T-Mobile’s Music Freedom Program, which provides innovative music services to consumers, and without charge to participating music streaming service providers.
And we are especially thrilled that Radio One’s music service, Black Planet, is now included in this landmark music offer. Music Freedom has made history by opening its national wireless platform to diverse-owned enterprises. [click to continue…]
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is dedicated to improving opportunity for minority and women entrepreneurs. At this year’s Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference, MMTC held an Investors Forum to educate budding and established entrepreneurs on investment opportunities that could benefit their businesses. The discussion centered on creative capital and the latest developments in angel investing venture capital, crowd funding, vendor funding, and audience aggregation.
Due to the vast array of information presented, the unofficial theme of the forum could have been “All the aspects of investment and financing entrepreneurs should know.” Dr. Anna-Maria Kovacs, Visiting Senior Policy Scholar from the Georgetown University Center for Business and Public Policy, revealed important characteristics of minority markets and outlined the shape and scope of the opportunities for investment. Her presentation also made the business case for investing in minority enterprises, discussing the steady climb of minority buying power and population growth. [click to continue…]